Tottenham midfielder Eric Dier will be “quietly happy” about Jose Mourinho taking over from Mauricio Pochettino as the club’s manager this week.
That is according to Noel Whelan, who was talking to Football Insider about the England international’s possible reaction to the managerial change at Spurs.
Speaking about the 25-year-old to Football Insider, former Leeds striker Whelan said: “I think it’s always encouraging to know when you’re at a club and another manager who’s just come into that club, when he was at Manchester United, wanted you.
“There’s an admiration there already for that player, so I think he’ll be one (boosted by Mourinho). I’m surprised Dier’s not had as much game time, he’s a very talented player, can play at the heart of the defensive as well as in the defensive midfield role.
“I think he’ll be quietly happy that Mourinho’s come in, knowing the admiration he’s had for him already.”
As Whelan has correctly pointed out, Mourinho had tried to sign Dier during his reign at Manchester United a couple of years ago, with the Daily Express noting that the manager was eager to land the England international.
As reported by The Independent this summer, the Old Trafford club were told by Tottenham in 2017 that they would have to pay £50m to sign the midfielder, with a substantially inferior offer of £22.5m tabled.
Therefore, it’s understandable why Whelan feels that Dier could be happy to now be working under a manager who so openly courted him within the last couple of years.
Also, as Whelan has referenced, the 25-year-old had been struggling for game-time under Pochettino this season, with just two Premier League starts, one Champions League start and six appearances in total across all competitions (as per TransferMarkt).
That lack of game-time follows on from an injury-hit 2018/19 campaign in which he started 18 Premier League games, a sharp decrease on the 32, 34 and 37 league starts from the three seasons prior to last.
Whelan rightly noted Dier’s versatility to switch between positions, having lined out at centre-back in the games against Red Star Belgrade and Sheffield United prior to the international break after playing in his more customary defensive midfield role earlier in the campaign.
The England international had been in danger of becoming a bit-part player under Pochettino but, as Whelan has suggested, Mourinho’s appointment may given him a new lease of life at Tottenham, given the manager’s previous admiration of him.
Tottenham fans, do you agree with Whelan’s views about Dier and Mourinho? Tell us what you think in the comments section below!
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